WSJ: Let's Get This Over With

Wednesday, 16 Oct 2013 12:16 PM

By Dan Weil

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The Wall Street Journal Wednesday joined other conservative opinion makers saying it is time that right-wing members of the House Republicans drop their opposition to a workable solution to the debt ceiling/budget impasse.

"Both sides are now split over increasingly small differences," the Journal said in an editorial. "None of this is worth a partial government shutdown, much less the risk of a debt default. . . . Let's get it over with."

House Republican leaders proposed a plan Tuesday that was little different from one agreed to by Senate leaders. But it wasn't "enough to please the small band of 20 or so House conservatives who have been all but running the House since this fiasco began," the editorial says.

"They refused to support House Speaker John Boehner and even Budget Chairman Paul Ryan. Another 30 or so Members were tired of getting kicked around by Heritage Action and Senator Ted Cruz and want the whole thing settled."

The conservatives destroyed whatever leverage the House GOP retained, the editorial claims. "Without a united majority of 218 votes, Republicans might as well hand the Speaker's gavel to Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid."

House Republicans also erred in rejecting a Senate proposal to postpone a reinsurance tax of about $60 a year per insured person, the editorial says.

"House Republicans objected to the delay in the tax because unions supported the delay for their own insurance plans, but that was short-sighted," Journal editors write.

Senate Democrats were willing to accept better income verification for people who apply for Obamacare subsidies in exchange for the tax delay.

"So out of political pique, House Republicans opposed two ways to make Obamacare less destructive," the editorial says.

"This is the quality of thinking — or lack thereof — that has afflicted many GOP conservatives from the beginning of this budget showdown.

"They picked a goal they couldn't achieve in trying to defund Obamacare from one House of Congress, and then they picked a means they couldn't sustain politically by pursuing a long government shutdown and threatening to blow through the debt limit."

Republicans end up with a loss of public approval, the editorial says. "If the Senate passes its compromise, Mr. Boehner will have little choice other than to bring it to the floor and let it pass with votes from either party," Journal editors write.

That's better than letting the Treasury default on payments, possibly including the debt, they say. "Republicans can best help their cause now by getting this over with and moving on to fight more intelligently another day."

Related Stories:

House GOP Conservative-Moderate Rift Boils Over
Fitch Puts US Credit Rating on Negative Watch

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